Scotland's Story Chapter XC. George IV - God Save the King
'Hark! the pibroch's martial strain Ca's the clans
to Lothian plain: Scotland's got her King again; Welcome, Royal
GEORGE II. died in 1759 A.D., and was succeeded by his
grandson, George III. He reigned for sixty years, and was succeeded in 1820
A.D. by his son George IV. I have not told you very much about these kings
because most of the interesting things which happened belong to the story of
Britain, and you will read of them in British histories.
You remember in the time of Anne, when the kingdoms of
England and Scotland were joined together, the Regalia of Scotland were
carefully locked up and hidden away. So carefully were they hidden away that
many people thought that they were lost for ever. At last the King was asked
to allow the strong room to be opened, so that the Regalia might be searched
The King gave his consent, and one morning several
gentlemen went to Edinburgh castle to look for the crown.
The door of the strong room was opened, and inside,
the chest was found. There were two locks on the chest, and as the keys had
been lost, the King's smith was sent for to break the locks. As the blows of
his hammer fell, the chest seemed to give back a hollow, empty sound.
Among the gentlemen who stood roun watching and
waiting anxiously was Mr. Walter Scott. He was a writer of books. He wrote
stories of Scotland and Scottish life which are read not only by Scotsmen,
but by people all over the world, He also wrote a History of Scotland for
his grandson, which he called Tales of a Grandfather, and some day, when you
are a very little older, you will read his History and his other stories
too. George iv. thought so much of Mr. Scott's books that he made him a
baronet, and so we remember him, not as Mr. Scott, but as Sir Walter Scott
Sir Walter loved Scotland and everything that belonged
to Scotland, and while the locks of the chest in which the Regalia lay, were
being broken, he waited with an anxious heart.
At last the heavy lid was lifted, and there, to the
delight of every one, lay the Regalia, just as they had been hidden away
more than a hundred years before. As soon as it was known that the jewels
were safe, the royal standard was hoisted on the castle, and the cheers of
the soldiers were echoed by hundreds of people who had gathered in the
streets, waiting for the news.
Since then the Regalia have been placed in a room in
Edinburgh castle where every one may see them. And when you go to Edinburgh,
as you will some day, you will climb the castle rock and look at the crown
and sceptre and sword of the Ancient Kingdom.
About two years after George IV. came to the throne he
paid a visit to Scotland. Except for 'the King over the water' it was the
first time that a king had visited Scotland since the days of Charles I.,
and although George IV. was neither a good man nor a great king, the people
welcomed him with joy.
It was resolved to remove the Regalia from the castle
of Edinburgh to Holyrood Palace, so that they might he carried before the
King when he rode in state to the castle. This was done with much ceremony.
A great procession of lords and gentlemen went to the castle, the gates of
which were found fast shut. A herald blew his trumpet. 'Who is there?' asked
a voice from within the castle.
'The King's Knight Marischal,' replied the herald. He
comes to receive the Regalia which are placed within your castle. He demands
admission in the name of the King.'
'Throw open the gates and make way for the King's
Knight Marischal,' cried the voice from within.
The gates were then thrown open, and the Knight
Marischal, followed by other great people, marched in.
When he came out again the Knight Marischal carried
the Regalia on a velvet cushion, the band played 'God save the King,' and
so, with banners flying and bagpipes playing, the Regalia were carried in
state to Holyrood, through streets crowded with cheering people. There they
were kept, guarded night and day by twelve gentlemen, until the King's visit
was over, and they were then taken back again to the castle.
The King sailed to Scotland in his yacht the Royal
George. When he anchored at Leith, Sir Walter Scott went out in a boat to
'What,' said the King when he heard that he was there,
''Walter Scott, the man in Scotland I most want to see. Let him come up.'
So Sir Walter went on board and knelt to kiss the
King's hand, and George called for wine and drank to his health.
Next day the King drove through the streets of
Edinburgh. He wore a thistle and a sprig of heather in his hat, and was
dressed in Stewart tartan, and the people cheered him for a true Scottish
King. For a few days there was great excitement, bonfires and fireworks,
balls, parties, and processions. Then the King went back to England.
And here I think I must end, for Scotland has no more
a story of her own—her story is Britain's story.
It was Highlandmen who withstood the enemy at
Balaclava; it was the sound of the bagpipes that brought hope to the
hopeless in dreadful Lucknow; it was Scotsmen who led the way up the Heights
of Abraham; it was a Scotsman, David Livingstone, who first brought light
into Darkest Africa, and it was another Scotsman, General Gordon, who there
laid down his life for the Empire, so you must read the rest of the story of
Scotland in the story of the Empire. For Scotsmen did not do these things
alone. They were able to do them because they stood shoulder to shoulder
with their English brothers, and fought and laboured, not for themselves,
but for the Empire, and so Scotland shares in the glory of the Empire, and
adds to it.
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